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Agronomy Talk

N. INDIANA - DENNY COBB, CPAG

Addressing Corn Crop Concerns

Published on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

During this time, two major corn crop concerns should be evaluated. 

The first is stopping first-generation European corn borer (ECB). More unprotected (non-traited or conventional) corn was planted this season than in recent years, creating more host plant acres. It’s imperative to monitor moth development. For first generation ECB, intensive scouting should begin at 170 growing degree units (GDUs) after the first moth has been detected in a managed area, or 200 GDUs (approximately 10 days) after plants reach the 6-leaf stage of development. When egg masses are detected on the underside of leaves, hatching will occur in five to seven days if temperatures are favorable (65 to 90°F). Hatched larvae will move immediately to the whorl. Insecticide applications should be made at first signs of hatching.

The second corn concern is plant available nitrogen (N). If we’ve incurred N loss this spring, it’s vital to make up for those losses. There is no perfect model, test, or app that can help us solve such issues when they arise. Managing N availability (or lack thereof) is such a dynamic, ever-changing process that exactness is hard to come by. We have to be good environmental stewards while not jeopardizing crop yield potential. Tissue testing and Pre-Sidedress Nitrogen Tests (PSNT) are suggested.

Author: Denny Cobb

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